Stallone originally wanted Van Damme for Lundgren’s role

Senior Editor
06.29.10 21 Comments

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Judging by what I’ve seen from the trailers, I could scarcely imagine Dolph Lundgren’s part in The Expendables being played by that twinkle-toed waffle jockey Van Damme.  Breeng eet, heppy feet?  No way, wouldn’t work.  But according to director Sylvester Stallone, that was the original plan. Mix my HGH with Metamucil, NY Times:

Rounding up the cast, Mr. Stallone said, was not especially difficult, except for Jean-Claude Van Damme, who declined a role that was eventually taken by Mr. Lundgren. “He told me, you should be trying to save people in South Central,” Mr. Stallone recalled of a conversation with Mr. Van Damme.
“I knew I’d lost him.”

I wish they’d ask a follow-up question and clarify, because as it is, it’s sort of up for interpretation.  Vulture reads it as Van Damme demanding the film be more “socially conscious,” but who knows. Maybe he just wanted to shoot in LA.  I hear the smog and the whores are nice this time of year.  Anyway, this was just a small part of a longer interview.  Other points of interest:

Asked what had killed classic action films like his “Rambo” and “Rocky” series —which each eked out a respectable performance with retro-style sequels in the past few years — Mr. Stallone answered in a word: “technology.”  When stars could “Velcro their muscles on, it was over,” he said.

Hmm, I was with you on the technology part, but velcro-on muscles?  I’m pretty sure no one has those.  Actors still grow them the old fashioned way: with lots and lots of drugs.  You ask me, the problem isn’t lack of muscles, it’s that god d*mned Bieber hair (formerly Efron hair) .

Mr. Stallone said he would like next to play the mobster John Gotti in a father-and-son story, and has been spending time with John Gotti Jr., trying to get a film started.

As for younger stars, Mr. Stallone sees more sweaty action ahead, as they tire of posing in front of a green screen to create digital effects.

“Taylor Lautner, all of these guys want to step up,” he said. “Given the opportunity to return to Vietnam, down and dirty, they’d be way up for it.”

It took all of my self-restraint not to frame the story around that quote with the headline STALLONE WANTS TAYLOR LAUTNER FOR SWEATY ACTION.  But seriously, Sly?  Taylor Lautner?  I’m all for sending that underacting dork to Vietnam, but I don’t see any reason to film it.

PS: Semi-related:

[via Memerial]

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